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Determinants of government bond spreads in the Euro area – in good times as in bad

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  • Christian Aßmann
  • Jens Hogrefe

Abstract

Despite the single currency, yields on government bonds in the Euro Area deviate from German bond yields. These bond spreads are usually attributed to differing default and liquidity risks. Recent research points out that time-varying global factors, approximated by risk measures or short term interest rates, play an important role for the evaluation of theses risks. In this paper, instead of proxy variables latent processes are assumed to model the aforementioned time variation. We find, that default risks measured via expected debt-to-GDP ratio explain a good stake of the variation of bond spreads in the Euro area at least between 2003 and the take-off of the financial crisis. During the financial crisis default risks or rather their evaluation increased but lost relative importance compared to liquidity risks

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy in its series Kiel Working Papers with number 1548.

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Length: 16 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kie:kieliw:1548

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Keywords: Euro Area; bond spreads; time-varying coefficients; liquidity risk; default risk;

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  1. R. Jankowitsch & H. Mosenbacher & S. Pichler, 2006. "Measuring the liquidity impact on EMU government bond prices," The European Journal of Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(2), pages 153-169.
  2. Gomez-Puig, Marta, 2006. "Size matters for liquidity: Evidence from EMU sovereign yield spreads," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 90(2), pages 156-162, February.
  3. Salvador Barrios & Per Iversen & Magdalena Lewandowska & Ralph Setzer, 2009. "Determinants of intra-euro area government bond spreads during the financial crisis," European Economy - Economic Papers 388, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  4. Pagano, Marco & von Thadden, Ernst-Ludwig, 2004. "The European Bond Markets Under EMU," CEPR Discussion Papers 4779, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Favero, Carlo & Pagano, Marco & von Thadden, Ernst-Ludwig, 2010. "How Does Liquidity Affect Government Bond Yields?," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 45(01), pages 107-134, February.
  6. Simone Manganelli & Guido Wolswijk, 2009. "What drives spreads in the euro area government bond market?," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 24, pages 191-240, 04.
  7. King, Mervyn & Sentana, Enrique & Wadhwani, Sushil, 1994. "Volatility and Links between National Stock Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(4), pages 901-33, July.
  8. Alessandro Beber & Michael W. Brandt & Kenneth A. Kavajecz, 2006. "Flight-to-Quality or Flight-to-Liquidity? Evidence From the Euro-Area Bond Market," NBER Working Papers 12376, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Harvey, Andrew & Ruiz, Esther & Sentana, Enrique, 1992. "Unobserved component time series models with Arch disturbances," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1-2), pages 129-157.
  10. Bollerslev, Tim, 1986. "Generalized autoregressive conditional heteroskedasticity," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 307-327, April.
  11. Lorenzo Codogno & Carlo Favero & Alessandro Missale, 2003. "Yield spreads on EMU government bonds," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 18(37), pages 503-532, October.
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